A group of radical Israeli settlers from the settlement of Efrat attacked Palestinian farmers from the nearby village of Al Ma'ssarah, located near the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem, on Monday before noon.

The farmers said that they were farming their lands when at least a group of 15 settlers using rocks and batons attacked them.

The farmers also stated that the settlers were protected by a battalion of Israeli soldiers.

When the farmers did not leave as the settlers demanded, soldiers told the farmers that the only way to stop the settlers from attacking them is for the farmers to leave their lands.

The farmers refused, and after a while, the settlers left.

Israeli soldiers are given a mandate from the Israeli government to 'protect' the Israeli settlers living illegally on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank.  Ironically, virtually every settler is armed, while virtually no Palestinian is armed, and the vast majority of attacks are carried out by settlers against Palestinians.

These attacks are particularly prevalent on land that the Israeli settlers are hoping to annex. All of the Israeli settlements that have been constructed over the last forty years of Israeli occupation are considered illegal under international law.  Israel has transferred 500,000 civilians to live in these settlements on illegally seized Palestinian land, in an attempt to expand the state of Israel onto these lands.


translated by Ghassan Bannoura